‘Days of Our Lives’: Surprising Rules the Cast Must Follow

Like the cast of every other soap opera, the cast of Days of Our Lives has a certain set of rules that they must follow. Obviously, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, more rules than ever have been implemented. This, of course, is mostly for the actors’ safety. But there have been other rules in place since before the pandemic, as well. Let’s take a look at what some of those rules entail.

Days of Our Lives cast members
‘Days of Our Lives’ | Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

‘Days of Our Lives’ shoots seven episodes a week

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Days of Our Lives shot about seven episodes a week. After the pandemic shut down production, it took a little while to get everyone back “up to speed.” Currently, the cast and crew are shooting about five episodes a day. What’s more, if someone signs on to be a contract player on Days of Our Lives — whether they’re a member of the cast or the crew — they must commit to shooting at least twenty scenes per week.

Some of your favorite characters weren’t meant to last

There’s no shortage of beloved characters on Days of Our Lives, including Dr. Marlena Evans-Black, Sami Brady, and new fan-favorite Paulina Price. But while there are some characters that come and go very quickly, there are other cast members that have stood the test of time.

One such character is the beloved Steve “Patch” Johnson, played by Stephen Nichols. Nichols has played the character off and on since 1985 and even won a Daytime Emmy for the role. But did you know that he originally was supposed to be a “one-off” character? Days of Our Lives fans loved him so much, however, that he stayed on permanently.

When COVID hit, ‘Days’ actors had to shoot with their real-life mates

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down a lot of productions, and Days of Our Lives was no exception. But in late summer 2020, the cast and crew received word that the soap would be resuming production on Sept. 1. For Eric Martsolf — who plays Brady Black — that meant filming the kissing scenes with someone a little unexpected.

“He said, ‘Eric, has your wife acted before?’” he said to Backstage Magazine. “She [his wife, Lisa Kouchak] and I met on the Broadway tour of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ He’s like, ‘Perfect. We may have to use her at one point and call her in.’”

As it turned out, Martsolf’s recent intimate scenes weren’t filmed with any of the Days of Our Lives actors. They were filmed with his wife as the stand-in. What’s more, the cast is not allowed to interact with one another once filming is over, and production tests the cast for coronavirus twice a day. That means that physical contact is only limited to when the cameras are on.

And if anyone in the cast disobeys? “They will shut the thing down if people aren’t taking it seriously,” Martsolf said.

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